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FYS - Meaninglessness and Meaningfulness: Topics/Keywords

Meaninglessness and Meaningfulness

Keywords to Try When Searching

Try Searches using the following keywords in order to find additional terminology for your topic: 
NOTE: Place quotation marks around phrases of more than 1 word when searching. (EX: "prison reform")

 General Course Topic Terms

  • psychoanalysis
  • psychoanalytic theory
  • existentialism
  • consciousness / unconsciousness
  • existentialism
  • meaning of life

Comparative Terms

  • faith
  • religion
  • theology
  • society
  • psychology
  • taoism / taoist (perspective on life)
  • buddhism / buddhist (perspective on life)
  • theism / theist (perspective on life)
  • atheism / atheist (perspective on life)
  • christian (perspective on life)

Notable Persons

  • Sigmund Freud
  • Jacques Lacan

Subject Headings to Try When Searching

After searching with keywords, look through your results to find official subject terms to help narrow your results further. 
NOTE: When using an EBSCO database to search subject terms, change the "Select a Field" option to indicate "SU Subject Terms."  Place quotation marks around your subject terms as indicated above.

  • BELIEF & doubt
  • COGNITIVE therapy
  • EXISTENTIAL psychology
  • Existentialism
  • Meaningfulness
  • PHILOSOPHY of religion
  • Psychoanalytic Theory
  • RELIGIOUS psychology
  • Self-Perception
  • Sense of Coherence

Finding and Narrowing a Topic

Find ideas in the syllabus, your text, class discussion, or Google News.

   Narrow down a broad topic by asking yourself
   the 5 W's: who? what? where? when? why?

   As you search the databases, looking at
   subject headings and abstracts can help you
                focus your topic.

Boolean Operators

Using Boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT) with your keywords will help you narrow or expand your results.

The highlighted middle section represents the use of AND. Searching for poverty AND addiction will give you results with both words present. Therefore, your results are fewer.

Using OR between similar keywords will give you results that include both words. Therefore, your results are greater. A search for teenagers OR adolescents will retrieve either or both terms.

The NOT operator gives you results from only one of your words. Therefore, your results are fewer. Searching for addiction NOT alcohol will eliminate alcohol from the results.

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